Monday, June 28, 2010

Eggplant Sandwiches

I am SO far behind with this blog. We have had so much delicious food lately (think pan-fried fish with squash salsa and salad greens, angel hair pasta with tomato and basil...) that I haven't had time or energy to blog about. (And some of it, no pictures.)

Before I talk about all that though, I have a book recommendation. 

(source here)

Warning: this book may very well change your life. It might also make you cry, laugh, and possibly both at the same time. It might make your heart swell so much you think it'll burst. It might make you want to go to Italy so bad you can taste it. You may, after reading this book, find yourself tearing up over oranges at the grocery store, understanding fully what you're doing by buying oranges from California when you live in Alabama, but not knowing what else to do at this point. You may, after reading this book, go completely insane and want to buy a farm.

All of the above? Yep. That's me.

Luckily, I can assuage some of my orange-guilt soon, because we're going to start subscribing to a local CSA (community-supported agriculture) called GrowAlabama. It makes my heart happy. We will get a box of fruits and veggies every week, all grown locally and organically, for about the same price as I pay for a weeks' worth of (not-organic, not-local) veggies at my nearby grocery store. Plus, farm eggs!!! So exciting.

Anyway, onto the food. How appropriate, after talking about CSA, that my recipe comes from the Real Simple article about Farmer's Market recipes. I know some of you have made this, and some of you have actually blogged about it, but I wanted to make it as well. And blog about it. Mainly because it's just so darn pretty. 

(Yes, I am one of THOSE people. The people who think vegetables are some of the most beautiful things on God's green earth. The people who love to shop for these healthy treats, because they're not only yummy, but aesthetically pleasing as well.)

Without further ado:

Eggplant Sandwiches:

First, you want to find a really pretty eggplant. (Or an ugly one, even.) Slice it into 8 slices.
Like so.

Then measure into 3 bowls 1/2 c. flour, 2 beaten large eggs, and a cup of Panko bread crumbs. You're gonna dip those eggplant slices into the flour first, and coat them really well, then go to the egg, and let it drip a bit, and then the breadcrumbs, mashing them gently so they'll stick.

(my bowls, post-dipping)

And then, into a frying pan they go! You'll use 1/4 c. canola oil for the first four...

...then when they get all nice and brown...

...put them on a paper towel, and wipe out the pan, and do the same thing with another 1/4 c. canola oil and the other four eggplant slices.

Salt the eggplant while it's still hot, and then you can make them into sandwiches. The recipe suggests using 2 eggplant slices as your "bun," and layering tomato slices, roamine lettuce, goat cheese, and basil in between. We didn't have any romaine, so I used spinach. And I figure any sort of cheese would be pretty awesome, even though we did use the goat cheese it called for. They were so yummy, and a great vegetarian dish!

(I really do eat meat. I know it doesn't look like it, but I do. I just have happened to have some really, really awesome meatless recipes lately!)

And there you have it. The sandwich in all its glory.

Now, is that pretty, or what??

(P.S. Check back tomorrow morning for a pictureless-but-AMAZING recipe from Mrs. Ina Garten!)


  1. My husband LOVES eggplant! Thanks for the recipe! (Believe it or not, April, I woke up this morning and thought, "I wonder what recipe April posted today?" I'm weird!) By the way, do you recommend the "Taste of Home: Simple and Delicious" or is the Food Network magazine better? I saw Ina Garten on the Food Network a couple of times and liked her stuff (but have never cooked from any of her books, nor have any). Would you recommend I get one of her books instead? Thanks for letting me know!

  2. I honestly don't subscribe to any cooking magazines specifically. I do have a Real Simple subscription (which this eggplant recipe came from ... their recipes are also on the website.)

    I like Ina Garten a lot. I was given Barefoot Contessa Family Style as a wedding present, and I've used it quite a bit. But, all her recipes (that I know of, anyway) are online, on the Food Network website. I personally like cookbooks, but they can get expensive. My main method of doing recipes actually is this box (which I think is honestly supposed to house phone numbers) which I use to hold 4x6 index cards with recipes on them.

    I'm sorry I can't give you a good review of either magazine, but I will say that Ina Garten is one of my favorite people to cook from :) I'm about to post her blueberry coffee cake muffin recipe!

  3. Mmmm.
    I agree... eggplants are beautiful!
    Ps, you've got me hooked on Ina. I watch her show every time it's on!
    She made these pears the other day that you scoop out the core, fill it with a mix of bleu cheese, nuts, and dried fruit, and cover it with a sweet port glaze, then pop it in the oven... it looked to DIE for!

  4. Wow, this is soo pretty and yummy-looking! We have bunches of eggplants growing so I'm happy to find a yummy recipe to use up all the plants!

  5. yum that looks amazing! Gonna have to try this recipe and the book looks good too. Might have to put it on my summer reading list :)